Residing in long-term care facilities has long been identified as a risk factor for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage and infection. The objective of this study was to describe MRSA epidemiology among residents in skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities (SNF/ICF) in Hawai‘i, using a statewide, population-based antimicrobial resistance surveillance system. From 2000 to 2005, proportions of MRSA increased significantly during the 6-year study period, from 35.0% in 2000 to 58.6% in 2005 (p<0.001). High levels of MRSA resistance to several commonly used antibiotics were observed, e.g., the level of MRSA resistance to clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, and erythromycin was at 77%, 90%, and 89% respectively. Nevertheless, there is a significant difference in the MRSA resistance pattern against certain antimicrobials in different geographic areas. For example, the level of MRSA resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was close to zero in Hawai‘i County, but 13% in Kaua‘i County. In contrast, the MRSA resistance to tetracycline was 46% in Hawai‘i County, but 5% in Kaua‘i County. Multi-drug resistant MRSA was well-established among nursing homes in Hawai‘i. Regional antibiograms are important in the assistance of empirical therapy
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